In the latest development in the Carlos Ghosn case, Nissan CEO Makoto Uchida argued on Wednesday that his predecessor had too much power during his time at the company.
Speaking to a Japanese court, Uchida said that Ghosn failed to listen to others, held too much power, and kept his position for too long.
These were factors that ultimately led to the financial misconduct allegations that Ghosn is now facing, said Uchida, who was testifying as a witness for Nissan.
Nissan is on trial over charges of falsifying securities reports in under-reporting Ghosn‘s compensation.
Following his notorious escape from Japan to Lebanon in 2019, the Japanese automaker filed a $95-million lawsuit against Ghosn for damages.
In May, a Dutch court ordered Ghosn to pay the Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance 5 million euros ($6.1 million) after the fugitive had filed a lawsuit demanding 15 million euros.
On Wednesday, Uchida said he felt “ashamed” and “miserable” when he learned about the allegations against Ghosn and Nissan, adding that Nissan’s brand was “tarnished,” workers became demoralized, and trust for management was lost when the case came to light.
An atmosphere of fear was predominant at Nissan under Ghosn, Uchida also said.
He claimed that the company’s staff believed that challenging Ghosn carried serious risks, something Uchida said he has been trying to change since he became CEO.
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